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Wednesday, 20 May 1970

Mr Collard asked the Minister for Shipping and Transport, upon notice:

(1)   Which Department, State or Federal, was responsible for the cost of transporting guests on the Indian-Pacific passenger train on its inaugural journey from Sydney Co Perth.

(2)   Which department was responsible for the cost of the dinner at Sydney and the buffet tea at Perth.

(3)   What was the cost in each case.

(4)   Would it have been preferable to expend the money on improving living and working conditions for people employed along the Trans-Australian railway or, alternatively, is he satisfied with conditions which exist at the present.

Mr Sinclair - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   The New South Wales, South Australian, Western Australian and Commonwealth Governments were responsible for this cost.

(2)   The cost of the dinner in Sydney will be shared betwee'n the Commonwealth and the New South Wales Governments. The cost of the buffet tea in Perth will be shared between the Commonwealth and the Western Australian Governments.

(3)   The Commonwealth's cost in transporting guests on the inaugural train from Sydney to Perth and return was $12,500.64.

The Commonwealth's contribution towards the dinner in Sydney was $4,516.49 and towards the buffet tea in Perth was $1,123.62.

The costs incurred by the State is a matter for the States concerned i'n the running of the inaugural trains. I am therefore unable to make these figures available.

(4)   The introduction of through standard gauge operations from Sydney to Perth was an event of major significance in the history of Australia, and it was considered fitting that the event should be commemorated in an appropriate manner lt is evident, from the enthusiastic reception that the train received along the route of its inaugural journey that these communities fully appreciated anc? recognised the importance of the occasion.

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